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International Student Migration: A Partial Identification Analysis


  • Romuald Méango


This paper studies the decision made by a family to invest in student migration. We propose an empirical structural decision model which reflects the importance of both the return to the investment and the budgetary constraint in the choice of the family. We circumvent the problem of endogeneity of the educational attainment by deriving sharp bounds and conduct inference for the parameters of interest. The data are collected on students from Cameroon, using a new snowball sampling procedure, which allow the inclusion of both migrants and non-migrants in the sample. We propose bias corrected estimators for this procedure. We study the characteristics of potential candidates to migration that increase or decrease their probability to migrate, accounting for a potential helper in the diaspora. Among the interesting results we find that a choice to complete a Master’s degree doubles the odds of migration, there is little evidence of gender preference, students migrants are positively selected on their previous academic results.

Suggested Citation

  • Romuald Méango, 2014. "International Student Migration: A Partial Identification Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 4677, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4677

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thomas Bauer & Ira Gang & Gil Epstein, 2000. "What Are Migration Networks?," Departmental Working Papers 200016, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    2. Batista, Catia & Lacuesta, Aitor & Vicente, Pedro C., 2012. "Testing the ‘brain gain’ hypothesis: Micro evidence from Cape Verde," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 32-45.
    3. Helmut Rainer & Thomas Siedler, 2009. "O Brother, Where Art Thou? The Effects of Having a Sibling on Geographic Mobility and Labour Market Outcomes," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(303), pages 528-556, July.
    4. Federico Ciliberto & Elie Tamer, 2009. "Market Structure and Multiple Equilibria in Airline Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(6), pages 1791-1828, November.
    5. Michel Beine & Romain Noël & Lionel Ragot, 2012. "The Determinants of International Mobility of Students," CESifo Working Paper Series 3848, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Dreher, Axel & Poutvaara, Panu, 2011. "Foreign Students and Migration to the United States," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1294-1307, August.
    7. Victor Chernozhukov & Han Hong & Elie Tamer, 2007. "Estimation and Confidence Regions for Parameter Sets in Econometric Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(5), pages 1243-1284, September.
    8. Mckenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Network effects and the dynamics of migration and inequality: Theory and evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-24, September.
    9. Michel Beine & Fréderic Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2008. "Brain Drain and Human Capital Formation in Developing Countries: Winners and Losers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 631-652, April.
    10. Maxim Engers & Steven Stern, 2002. "Long-Term Care and Family Bargaining," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(1), pages 73-114, February.
    11. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    12. Arie Beresteanu & Ilya Molchanov & Francesca Molinari, 2011. "Sharp Identification Regions in Models With Convex Moment Predictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(6), pages 1785-1821, November.
    13. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "Observable Implications of Models with Multiple Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1431-1437, November.
    14. Donata Bessey, 2012. "International student migration to Germany," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 345-361, February.
    15. Mallar, Charles D, 1977. "The Estimation of Simultaneous Probability Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(7), pages 1717-1722, October.
    16. Robert J. Willis, "undated". "Wage Determinants: A Survey & Reinterpretation of Human Capital Earnings Functions," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 85-9, Chicago - Population Research Center.
    17. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
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    More about this item


    student migration; network sampling; incomplete structural models; partial identification;

    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers


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